Interior design choices play crucial role in indoor air quality

| by Teena Hammond
Interior design choices play crucial role in indoor air quality

Indoor air quality in a home benefits from wise interior design choices, including organic fabrics, low-VOC paint, vegetable-dye rugs and formaldehyde free cabinetry.

Chicago-based Susan Fredman Design Group created a healthy home interior for Dior Builders in Palatine, Ill. by opting for products to improve indoor air quality. The design philosophy at Susan Fredman is to help improve indoor air quality by using as many toxin-free products as possible.

The reason for this is because "there's an increase in people with allergies and chronic fatigue syndrome and they are directly related to indoor air quality," said Ruth Delf, ASID, LEED GA and senior interior designer for Susan Fredman. "We spend a lot more time in our homes now than we used to historically."

One of the ways to reduce dust and allergens is to include more hard-surface flooring, so this particular home has mostly tile and hardwood floors, with area rugs of 100 percent wool, many either dye-free or with only vegetable dye used. The bedding is 100 percent organic, and finishes are low or no-VOC for paint and furniture,  Delf said.

In the nursery, the walls are made out of American Clay, which is a natural earth plaster that is trowled onto the wall. "It's a clay pigment and it's better than paint because you can spray it down at night with a bottle of water and throughout the night it acts as a humidifier and adds natural moisture back into the room. It's also beautiful to look at with a suede-like finish," Delf said.

The bathroom fixtures have an anti-microbial coating to inihibit the growth of bacteria, as well as Cambria, a natural stone surface that is Greenguard certified, meaning that it has no impact on indoor air quality.

Along with Delf, interior designer Kathy Hoffman, ASID, LEED GA worked on the home, as did Susan Fredman, ASID.

A slideshow detailing the products used to generate a healthy indoor air quality is available.

Topics: Indoor Air Quality, Interior Design, Paint | Low VOC and No VOC

Teena Hammond
Teena Hammond has published more than 2,000 articles in People and W magazines, Women's Wear Daily, and in dozens of newspapers and books. She also wrote a home improvement, remodeling and decor column that ran in Gannett newspapers nationwide. She's interested in all things green and would love to hear from you with your story ideas.

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